“What we tried to do is find films that are ideally suited to the seniors audience, films that are entertaining, where you can learn something, where you can reminisce and where you can embrace yourself in some of the stories.”
Young at Heart Festival Director and Palace Cinemas Programming Director Kim Petalas sat down to talk about this year’s Festival which for the first time will be managed exclusively by Palace, with screenings taking place in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. The Festival will also have its debut in Adelaide, where it will screen the much-anticipated Their Finest starring, amongst its prominent cast, Gemma Arterton and Richard E. Grant.
“Their Finest is going to be a really strong film for the Festival, it’s a film that’s really well made and beautifully shot,” said Petalas. “It focuses on the perspective of a woman that’s making propaganda films to boost morale during World War 2 and it’s got one of those wonderful British casts including Bill Nighy. It’s a film where you’ll see so many recognisable faces.”
This Beautiful Fantastic, a prepossessing feature starring Jessica Brown Findlay not dissimilar from Amelie, if markedly British, might also attract Sherlock fans, with star Andrew Scott along for the ride in a supporting role. An inoffensive feature focused primarily on two neighbours, their lives and respective gardens, This Beautiful Fantastic, possessing some striking visuals, is about as pleasant and cheerful as films come.
“That’s a film with Tom Wilkinson and he’s one of those faces that you recognise because his body of work has just been so expansive,” said Petalas. “The lead in the film Jessica Brown Findlay is terrific and the film’s got everything, it’s got humour, it’s got drama and it’s a little bit eccentric.”
Featuring The Secret Scripture starring Rooney Mara, Eric Bana, Vanessa Redgrave, Aidan Turner and Theo James as well as Neruda, a period piece from Chilean Director Pablo Larrain (well-known internationally for his recent hit Jackie), Young at Heart will also screen a classics retrospective.
“I believe that every Festival should look back on the past and reflect on great films,” said Petalas. “People have got the opportunity to see wonderful restorations of some real classics, including The Third Man which is one of the greatest British films of all time starring Orson Welles and Trevor Howard.”
“We were fortunate enough that there was a retrospective made; it’s such a wonderful film with mass appeal and it gives people the opportunity to revisit the film or see it for the first time the way it was originally intended on the cinema screen.”
Tommy’s Honour, focusing on the roots of one of the world’s most beloved sports, will also screen over the coming weeks.
“There’s a lot of seniors who have a really strong interest in golf and this film certainly shows people the way the modern game of golf eventuated,” said Petalas. “It’s directed by Sean Connery’s son Jason Connery and it’s got a great cast including Sam Neill – it’s a beautiful period piece and anyone who has an interest in sport or in golf or in history will really embrace that film.”
“We’re excited to introduce the Festival to new audiences,” commented Petalas. “It’s a Festival that we as an organisation are very passionate about and hope that in subsequent years to come is one of our bigger Festivals – the seniors audience is just so important to Palace Cinemas.”
“We really want to support people and screen these films at accessible times… the session times are during the day, there’s a morning session and then two early afternoon sessions. The price is also very accessible for seniors.”
The Young at Heart Film Festival will screen nationally from April 3-26, for more information head to the Festival website